Like an aging rocker with plenty of visible gray hair and filled with hope that nostalgia will bring out the crowds, President Obama is on a bus trip. John Dickerson of Slate tweeted, “The president is on a political bus tour which he says isn’t a political where he will tell Republicans to stop behaving politically.” That tell you all you need to know about the bus tour and a lot about how far we’ve come from the media fawn-a-thon that characterized the 2008 campaign.

Mitt Romney’s campaign dubbed Obama’s trip the “Magical Misery Tour.” The RNC came out with its retort, objecting to the “Obama Debt-End Tour” (sorry, not as good as Romney’s) being financed at taxpayers expense.

The bus tour does seem, well, lame. The complaint against Obama these days is that he campaigns but does not govern. His critics say he promises unity but emphasizes partisanship; Republicans argue that he promises a pro-jobs agenda but has nothing left to offer. So what does Obama do? He goes on a tour reinforcing everyone of these digs. Politico reports:

Emerging from the bus, Obama lit into Romney, accusing the former Massachusetts governor of ditching his commitment to health care reform to run in the conservative GOP primary: “You got a governor who is running for president.. . .It’s like [he’s] got amnesia.”

He even mimicked Romney: “Oh, this is terrible! This is going to take away freedoms!”

The audience was largely supportive, but there were murmurs of concern about the jobs crisis and the president’s willingness to accept some changes to entitlements such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry got a barb as well. I suppose this is what the White House imagines will buoy the base. No one there seems to have the nerve to tell the president that insults on parade aren’t becoming of a president, and more to the point, remind everyone he’s done nothing on the jobs front in the areas he is visiting.

But the trip is not a total waste. Obama declared that the term “ObamaCare” is just fine by him. Well, thank you Mr. President! The left has been whining for months and months that this is a term of derision while I and many others have insisted that he should embrace his “historic legislation.” (Or what’s left of it after the courts get done with it.) Glad we cleared that up.

But the economy? Oh, that still stinks. (The Wall Street Journal reports : “Moody’s Analytics said its near-term outlook for the U.S. economy has fallen significantly in the past month wake of the debate over the U.S. debt ceiling and the downgrade of the nation’s credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s.”) No matter. The Obama campaign will tell us it’s all Bush’s fault, anyway.